Underbite

Dr. Sidney M. Craft

Orthodontist located in Houston, TX & The Woodlands, TX

A severe underbite can hold you back from feeling confident about your smile, or even worse, can lead to significant oral health issues. Sidney M. Craft, Jr., DDS, is an expert at treating malocclusion and has helped many patients overcome their underbites in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. To learn more about fixing your underbite, schedule a visit today by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online.

Underbite Q & A

What is an underbite?

An underbite is a type of malocclusion or jaw misalignment where the lower teeth extend farther outward than the upper teeth. An underbite looks like the jaw positioning typically associated with bulldogs.

What causes an underbite?

There are several factors that affect the alignment of your teeth, and therefore a number of different ways that you can potentially develop an underbite. Some common causes include:

Childhood habits

Underbites can develop by engaging in certain bad oral habits while the teeth and jaw are still growing into their permanent positions. Some examples of these bad habits are:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting (pushing on your front teeth with your tongue)
  • Using a pacifier past the age of three
  • Bottle-feeding beyond infancy

Genetics

The most common cause of an underbite is genetics. Jaw and tooth shape are inherited traits, and people that are born with teeth that are very close together, abnormally shaped, or impacted tend to have a higher risk of developing an underbite.

Injury

Severe trauma to the face can affect your jawbone and the alignment of your bite. Even if you break your jaw and have it repaired, you might still develop an underbite if it heals out of alignment.

Tumors

Tumors in the jawbone or mouth that cause the jaws to protrude can sometimes cause an underbite.

Why should I correct my underbite?

Fixing your underbite can benefit your oral health in a number of ways, including:

  • Improved ability in eating and speaking
  • Reduced pain in your mouth and face caused by a misaligned jaw
  • Easier time keeping your teeth clean, thereby decreasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease
  • Less strain on your teeth, jaws, and facial muscles, thereby reducing the risk of developing TMJ or breaking a tooth

Many patients of Dr. Sidney M. Craft also choose to treat their underbite for cosmetic reasons, as a malocclusion can detract from the aesthetic appearance of a healthy smile.

How do you treat an underbite?

If you’ve decided that you’d like to address your underbite, your practitioner can administer a number of different procedures that will treat your malocclusion and improve your smile, such as:

  • Fitting you with elastic wear to gradually pull your jaw back into proper alignment
  • Removing one or more of your teeth in your lower jaw (if overcrowding is one of the factors contributing to your particular underbite)
  • Grinding, shaving, or smoothing down particularly large or severely protruding teeth

Don’t wait to treat your underbite. Schedule an appointment today and let Dr. Sidney M. Craft get your smile in proper alignment. You can call the office nearest you or book your visit using the convenient online scheduling tool.